This I Believe
I believe in the value of work; an honest day’s labor for an honest day’s pay. I believe that we create our own destinies and shape our own futures; that is, if we have the courage and tenacity to do so. Hannibal and Napoleon are my heroes; Individuals that could motivate and encourage a multitude of others through sheer force of will, determination, and brilliance. Conversely, I believe that all too often we limit ourselves by saying can’t, won’t or shouldn’t. I believe in defying categories, characterizations, and stereotypes; I believe in creating new paradigms and new opportunities.
I grew up in a small town; raised by my mother and great-aunt. They were, to put it mildly, over protective. My movements were greatly restricted growing up – my safety their main concern. My only freedom was on Saturday mornings, when I was allowed to walk to the library on my own. It was my adventure. At the library, a whole world opened up. I traveled to distant places, met interesting people; lived a thousand lifetimes.
Pooh was my friend, but so too were Mercutio, Katherine, and Keats.
I suppose that brings us to now. We are well into a new century, early enough to have high hope for the coming years, weeks, and days; yet, not so far into it that we could still benefit from our past missteps and miscues.
I still believe, despite the trials of adulthood, that people are basically good and that we are here to help one another.
I picked up a poem in my travels and it comes to mind right now:
“I am the captain of my fate, and the steward of my destiny. Although, I’ve been defeated before, I’ve always returned to the fray stronger. Although, I’ve been enslaved, I’ve always managed to overthrow my chains. I cannot be defeated. My will endures.”
I believe that we each stand on a silent vigil, between the candle and the darkness; and that all of us have to choose. Choose wisely. Choose wisely.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.